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Is Your Organization Missing Funding Opportunities?

Most organizations we engage with – whether a client or not – focus primarily on maintaining a solid Ohio legislative strategy. Recently we’ve been helping our clients recognize the opportunities available through a federal strategy as well.

Federal “earmarks” might not be part of a funding strategy at many organizations simply because they disappeared for a decade. In the early 2010’s, Speaker Boehner banned funding projects and it took a groundswell of encouragement to bring them back in a way that would be approved by conservatives and liberals alike. Since 2021, “Congressionally Directed Spending” (CDS) opportunities are back, but with more transparency and a limit to the number each member of Congress can make per district (Senators are unlimited). In addition to general unfamiliarity with the process, the process is dependent upon the federal budgeting cycle. 

At Capitol Partners, we have used the CDS process to complement our state budgeting work. Many of our nonprofit clients are familiar with the state budgeting process, and many times have projects that are vetted and well-packaged that can fit neatly into a federal appropriations request. We help our clients polish the request, and make sure it fits within the eligibility requirements posed by the numerous subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee. 

The truth is federal strategies can accelerate and compliment state strategies. For example, Capitol Partners secured $2.3 million in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of2024. This was made possible by working with our clients to put forth requests that were meaningful to the offices we submitted them to. It’s important to discuss not just the project but the impact the project will have on the community – and most importantly – the constituents of the Congressional district. Our job is to identify how and where the interests of our clients and the interests of members of Congress align.

While the federal funding process is highly competitive, the potential benefits far outweigh the risks. Meaning, if you already have a packaged proposal, it’s worth the extra effort to apply through the federal CDS process as well.

If you’d like to learn more about how federal advocacy could help your organization, reach out to us! We have years of industry experience on both sides of the process.



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